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Music / Underoath

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Underoath is a Metalcore band from Florida founded by Dallas Taylor and Luke Morton in 1997 and currently fronted by Spencer Chamberlain and Aaron Gillespie. They are currently signed with MNRK Heavy.

With original vocalist Dallas Taylor, they released three albums with a more Black metal inspired sound. Following his departure, Spencer Chamberlain became lead vocalist. The band then released the new sound albums They're Only Chasing Safety and Define the Great Line. These two albums have given them more mainstream and commercial success.

They have received two Grammy nominations in 2007 and 2010 respectively, and while signed to Solid State, were about the most commercially and critically successful Christian rock/metal band out there, garnering a fanbase even from non-religious music fans. The band moved away from faith-based music in 2018 with their comeback album Erase Me.


  • Spencer Chamberlain - Lead vocals (since 2003)
  • Grant Brandell – bass guitar (since 2002)
  • Aaron Gillespie – drums, clean vocals (1997–2010, 2015 -)
  • Christopher Dudley – keyboards, synthesizers, samplers, programming (since 2000)
  • Timothy McTague – lead guitar, backing vocals (since 2001)

Former members:

  • Rey Anasco – bass guitar (1997–1999)
  • Matthew Clark – bass guitar (2000–2001)
  • Octavio Fernandez – rhythm guitar (2000–2003), bass guitar (1999–2000)
  • Daniel Davison – drums (2010 - 2013)
  • Luke Morton – lead guitar (1997–1999)
  • Billy Nottke – bass guitar (2001–2002)
  • Kelly Scott Nunn – rhythm guitar (2002–2003)
  • Corey Steger – rhythm guitar (1998–1999), lead guitar (2000–2001), backing vocals (1998–2001)
  • Dallas Taylor – lead vocals (1997–2003)
  • James Smith – rhythm guitar (2003-2023)


  • Act of Depression (1999)
  • Cries of the Past (2000)
  • The Changing of Times (2002)
  • They're Only Chasing Safety (2004)
  • Define the Great Line (2006)
  • Lost in the Sound of Separation (2008)
  • Ø (Disambiguation) (2010)
  • Erase Me (2018)
  • Voyeurist (2022)

Tropes associated with Underoath:

  • Arc Symbol: The infamous Ø.
  • Album Title Drop: "We Are the Involuntary" does this for Lost in the Sound of Separation.
    • "ihateit" for Erase Me:
      God, erase me
      I don't deserve the life you give
  • Animated Music Video: For the song "Too Bright to See, Too Loud to Hear."
  • The Band Minus the Face: Ø (Disambiguation) was made while drummer and clean vocalist Aaron Gillespie was out of the band.
  • Buried Alive: Touched on in the chorus of "In Division."
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Spencer and Tyler Smith of The Word Alive could practically be brothers. And when Tyler substituted for Spencer after the latter fell ill during a tour, their own vocal similarities became apparent as well.
  • Christian Rock: Originally, though they started shifting away from the genre a bit with Ø (Disambiguation), and officially confirmed a departure from it with Erase Me.
  • Concept Album: Lost in the Sound of Separation has many shades of this, with many songs merging into each other and each song telling some kind of story, implied to be about the Apocalypse.
    • Considering the lyrical themes/band's shtick with Christian themes, there's a possibility the album is about the second coming of Christ.
    • Cries of the Past seems to be a story of a man who reaches the Despair Event Horizon before finding his true love, who he then loses in a car accident he caused. Rumors keep circulating that the album was inspired by Dallas Taylor's loss of his "fiancee", but this has never been proven true.
    • Erase Me features themes of betrayal, loss, anxiety and disillusionment when holding onto a belief and faith, a complete 180 from the religious themes espoused in their previous work.
  • Crisis of Faith: The band as a whole experienced this in their period of inactivity, which was exacerbated by Spencer's drug addiction. When the band reunited, they publicly renounced all ties not only with the Christian rock community but with the religion as a whole, and as detailed, Erase Me has this trope as its overarching concept.
  • Darker and Edgier: Define the Great Line saw the band abandon the accessible sound of They're Only Chasing Safety for a heavier style influenced by Grunge and Post-Rock.
    • Erase Me, at least from a lyrical standpoint. It marks the first time the band ever fully distanced themselves from their religious themes. Also apparent with the F-bomb in "On My Teeth". The follow-up album, Voyeurist, is even more lyrically aggressive featuring many more F-bombs, as well as themes like death, sorrow and the afterlife.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Act of Depression and Cries of the Past have heavy influences from Death Metal and Black Metal.
  • Epic Rocking: The bulk of their early material — the shortest song on Act of Depression clocks in at 5:50, while the shortest song on Cries of the Past is 7:36. Also shows up on Define the Great Line with the last song "To Whom It May Concern" which is 7:02 and Voyuerist with the last song "Pneumonia" which is 7:12.
  • Fiery Redhead: Aaron.
  • I Am the Band: Aaron Gillespie has been the only remaining founding member since Dallas Taylor's departure.
  • In Name Only: After drummer Aaron Gillespie left. Averted with their reunion as Aaron has now returned.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: The 2010 album, Ø (Disambiguation), was made without founding member Aaron Gillespie, leaving the band with no more original members. Vocalist Spencer Chamberlain took over Aaron's clean singing along with the Harsh Vocals he had been dedicated to for the previous three albums. Musically, the album borrows heavily from sludge metal and mathcore, resulting in a very dark and intense sound.
  • Lead Drummer: Aaron Gillespie serves as this, being the de-facto leader and part of the Vocal Tag Team with Spencer Chamberlain.
  • Lighter and Softer: Everything after Cries of the Past, though They're Only Chasing Safety was by far the poppiest when it first dropped. Starting with Define the Great Line, however, the band began moving back in a Darker and Edgier direction as far as both sound and (by extension) themes went. Erase Me — for the most part — puts much bigger focus on Alternative Rock trappings with the occasional bursts of Industrial music here and there, thereby making it the lightest and softest Underoath release since their 2004 LP.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: While originally a Revolving Door Band, the current lineup qualifies as a Type 5, lasting from 2003 to 2010, and then again from 2015 to 2023.
  • Metal Scream: Original frontman Dallas Taylor is a type 3, Spencer Chamberlain uses a type 1.
  • New Sound Album:
    • The Changing of Times ditched most of the extreme metal elements of their first two albums in favor of a melodic metalcore sound.
    • They're Only Chasing Safety was more or less straightforward post-hardcore/screamo with very little metal influence.
    • Define The Great Line brought back the metalcore sound and added Post-Rock and mathcore elements. They would continue to pursue this sound on Lost In The Sound of Seperation and Ø.
    • Erase Me is pretty similar to They're Only Chasing Safety but with more clean singing and some industrial influences.
  • Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: Spencer Chamberlain's "clean" vocals.
  • Precision F-Strike: "On My Teeth", the lead single from Erase Me (and the band's comeback single), opens with the line "Let's get this straight/I'm fine without you/I'm not your fucking prey!" This caused some controversy with the band's Christian fanbase.
  • Religion Rant Song: In a rather surprising turn of events, the song "On My Teeth" is this. Spencer claimed that Christianity ruined his life and the song "On My Teeth" is about how Spencer felt betrayed by Christianity since it did not help him with his drug addiction. Matter of fact, much of Erase Me falls into this trope as both Types 1 and 2.
    Spencer: I’m not saying religion is wrong for everyone, but for me it was wrong. It ruined my life, turned me into a drug addict and people were awful to me the whole time. I never felt more alone in my life than when I was Christian.
    • "Heart of Stone" is directed at those who use Christianity as a pretext for bigotry against others. Notably, it still affirms belief in Jesus Christ, and condemns fundamentalists for sullying Christianity's reputation.
    • "Damn Excuses", the first track of Voyeurist, is by far their most upfront song against religion since their reunion, and airs how the band sees Christianity as nothing more than a tool to prey on vulnerable people to exploit them.
  • Revolving Door Band: The band went through a lot of lineup changes until none of the original members appeared on Disambiguation, though, aside from Aaron's departure and eventual return, they had otherwise been stable from the time Spencer joined the band (2003) to the time James left (2023).
  • Soprano and Gravel: Aaron (soprano) and Spencer (gravel), though Spencer will occasionally throw in some clean singing of his own. Ø, the only album without Aaron, had Spencer doing screaming and singing in equal measure.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Spoken passages appeared prominently on the Dallas Taylor albums.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Spencer seems to be lip-synching underwater in the video for "In Division."
  • Vocal Evolution: Spencer Chamberlain started out with a high-pitched, breathy scream. Starting with Define the Great Line, his screams would get deeper and throatier.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Spencer and Aaron, with the former providing the screams and Aaron providing the clean singing.
  • Wham Line: Many people were surprised by Underoath's return with "On My Teeth' having the lyric "I'm not your FUCKING prey!", showing this was not the same Underoath everyone knows.
  • You Are Not Alone / You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Define the Great Line has these themes, especially with the song "To Whom It May Concern" which basically says don't let life throw you down, push yourself through no matter what.